Milk Donation After Neonatal Loss: UTS Early Career Researcher Grant (2013: $24,953)
Australian human milk banks (HMBs) are relatively new to donor breastmilk programs for bereaved mothers. When lactating mothers experience the death of their infant, most HMBs do not actively provide them with the option of donating their breastmilk for use with other sick infants. This project will work with mothers who have experienced neonatal loss to examine the potential for breastmilk donation as one method through which grief may be addressed. This project will theorise the meaning that bereaved mothers attribute to stored (frozen) breastmilk and the process of lactation suppression after their infant’s death. It will then use bereaved mothers’ narratives and sociological analysis to work with Australian HMB professionals to construct a national position statement on bereaved breastmilk donation.
Strengthening communication in healthcare incident disclosure ARC Discovery Grant (2012: $58,000; 2013: $60,000; 2014: $52,000)
Professor Rick Iedema and Dr Kate Bower
This project examines how health care practitioners are communicating or avoiding communicating health care incident information to patients (or their relatives). The last decade has seen several states and nations adopt disclosure policies that require clinicians and services to become frank with their patients about incidents. These policies have had limited effect however on clinician’s inclination to disclose incidents. There are a number of barriers to disclosure including fears of legal prosecution and organisational complexity that this research will examine. The project aims to bridge the existing communication divide between clinicians who feel constrained in what they say and who default to limited or no-disclosure, and patient-consumers who expect and deserve openness and restorative action from the service when an incident results in harm. This project will map disclosure communication in its aim to enhance clinician-patient and clinician-clinician dialogue about health care incidents. The project will encompass interviews with patients, family members and clinicians who have been involved in a health care incident.
‘Liquid Gold’: establishing the place of donated human milk in the tissue economy (DP110103025; 2011-2014; $296,000)
Principal Investigator: Dr Katherine E Carroll
Donated human milk can offer profound benefits to the health and survival of hospitalised pre-term infants yet Australia is slow to adopt its use. This research explores the policies and practices of donated human milk use in Australia, and will contribute to the development of donated breast milk policy, and progress current tissue donation theory.
Strengthening clinicians’ capacity for infection control: a multi-method study to reduce MRSA infection and transmission
NHMRC 2011-2015 ($773,000)
Principal Project Manager: Iedema, R.
Project Co-Investigators: Gilbert, G., Hooker, C., Sullivan, M., Jorm, C., Chapman, J., Clark, P., Dempsey, K., Pathma-Nathan, N., Reece, G., Tallon, J., Wakefield, J.
This innovative project seeks to change health care worker (`HCW’) beliefs and practices about infection control in order to lower hospital-acquired infection (`HAI’) rates. This aim is realized by:
- continuous surveillance of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (`MRSA’) colonization and infection rates; rapid identification, by routine strain typing, and rapid reporting of MRSA transmission events, and
- providing feedback to frontline clinicians combining MRSA reporting with `video reflexive ethnography’ and hand-washing audit data targeting HCWs’ infection control awareness.
Australian Technology Network of Universities’ Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme 2010-2011, Mobile IT? Solutions for Health Care Processes
has been awarded an international collaboration grant from the Australian Technology Network of Universities’ Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme 2010-2011. Their project is titled: ‘Mobile IT? Solutions for Health Care Processes’.
The project will enable the UTS Centre for Health Communication to collaborate with the Osnabruck-based Institut für Informationsmanagement und Unternehmensführung on developing mobile messaging and GPS localisation devices supporting patients’ trajectories through health care services.
KOMUNITI TOK PIKSA – Integrating Papua New Guinean Highland narratives into visual HIV/AIDS prevention and education material ($400,000)
Principal Investigator, Professor Rick Iedema
Research Fellow, Dr Verena Thomas
Research Assistant, Ms Katherine Britton
A UTS project that has helped Papua New Guinea (PNG) Highlands communities tell their stories in film is entering a new phase with an initiative to develop locally appropriate resources for HIV/AIDS education and prevention. In July and August this year filmmaker and UTS PhD student Verena Thomas led the first Yumi Piksa (Our Pictures) video workshop in collaboration with the University of Goroka in the PNG Eastern Highlands.
The workshop produced three short documentary films that have been distributed to international audiences, with two accepted into the International Pacific Documentary Festival in Tahiti in January. The project has also featured in Scene-by-Scene, a series celebrating filmmaking in the Asia Pacific, broadcast recently on CNN International, the ABC and Australia Network.
Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (2008-2011): Examining organisational complexity and clinical risk to improve hospital patients’ safety ($475,000)
Principal Investigator: Professor Rick Iedema
Research Fellow:Dr Su-yin Hor
Co-Investigators: Prof Elizabeth Manias, Dr Bonne Lee, Dr Mike Buist, Dr Gideon Caplan, Jane Carthey, Dr Martin Kornberger, Dr Roslyn Sorensen, Dr Christine Jorm, Professor Frank Becker
This project investigates communication practices using experience-based enquiry to bring about safe care, with the following aims:
1. to formulate communication strategies and spatial-design principles that promote and maintain patient safety in organisations that harbour clinical risk;
2. to re-invent patient safety research by creating space for experience-based enquiry that involves clinicians and researchers in reflecting on and intervening in clinical practice;
3. to theorise experience-based enquiry as research that seeks to act as a feedback dynamic for professionals working in high complexity organisational environments.
This project will produce short-term outcomes that include communication strategies by reflecting on and renegotiating in situ unit exchanges. The project’s sustainability derives from its
medium-term and long-term outcomes: Medium-term outcomes include collaborative practices or ‘entanglements’ that co-opt clinicians into research partnerships with us, as we collaborate on public presentations, publications, hospital policy developments and teaching and learning strategies for clinicians, academics and students. Long-term outcomes include i) theorisations of applied organisational research that connect organisational complexity to the growing significance of practice-oriented feedback and reflexivity, and ii) spatial-communicative design
principles that enhance health facility planning by integrating physical context parameters impacting on the communication of complex forms of care.
NSW Health Ambulance – ED Handover improvement (2010-2011; $165,000)
Principal Project Manager: Professor Rick Iedema
Project Coordinator: Sarah Hoy (NSW Health)
Project Sponsors: Barbara Daly (Prince of Wales Hospital); Dr Mike Dinh (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital); Dr Paul Middleton (Ambulance Research Institute)
Effective handover between Ambulance staff and ED personnel is critical to ensuring all information critical to the patient’s care is appropriately transferred. Handover works when the expectations of ambulance staff and ED clinicians are aligned. Aligning these expectations occurs through standardising handover as outlined in the NSW Health Safe Clinical Handover key principles. With a standardised handover, Ambulance staff can prepare for what to hand-over, and clinicians will be familiar with the general outline of what they will hear, and know what to ask for in addition in specific circumstances. This project involves frontline ambulance staff and ED clinician in standardising their shared handover process in two major metropolitan teaching hospitals.
In focusing on Ambulance to ED handover, this project extends work recently completed for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. This work was part of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care National Clinical Handover Project. This work resulted in a range of international publications, training resources, handover improvement collaborations (e.g. with seven hospitals in the Netherlands) and workshop and lecture invitations. The present Ambulance-ED handover project capitalises on the experience and expertise developed as part of this earlier work to standardise the Ambulance-ED handover process.